Napton Cidery crowdfunding will enable £250k expansion

Jolyon, Charlotte and Matilda Olivier with the Taproom Special cider and Smudge the dog

A quarter-of-a-million-pound expansion plan has been unveiled by the owners of a family-run Warwickshire cidery who are launching their second crowdfunding campaign within a year.

Jolyon and Charlotte Olivier are growing their award-winning Napton Cidery to help fulfil major new contracts as well as fund an extension to the production facilities and taproom.

The couple launched the latest campaign to build on the success of their second round of funding in January, which enabled them to create new products and jobs.

Since then the business has enjoyed 97 per cent year-on-year growth, expanding the ciders into more than 50 pubs and restaurants as well as securing new contracts with Ocado, Spar and Co-op Midlands stores.

Jolyon said: “We are aiming to raise £250,000 to help Napton Cidery maintain its excellent growth throughout 2022 and beyond. Our primary goal for this investment round is to be able to increase our cider volumes so that we can fulfil all of the sizeable contracts, which include exciting new relationships with wholesalers, and continue to grow at our current rate.

After a successful recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are now looking to the future. We also plan to upgrade and streamline our cider production facilities so that we can bring more of the cider making process in house, which would cut costs in the long term and grant us greater control over our products. We will also require new logistics staff as we expand into UK supermarkets.

Over the next 18 months Napton will also be bringing the remainder of their signature ciders onto draught as well as extending the popular taproom following sell-out success of their live comedy, music and tasting events.

A new purpose-built warehouse will enable the cidery to upgrade to digital laboratory equipment as well as further increase their sustainability credentials by investing in steel tanks.

The couple were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday to Cornwall nine years ago. Returning home with an apple tree, they soon started experimenting in their back garden.

Today, the team, in Napton on the Hill, harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 100,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards across the Herefordshire region.

They also produce limited-edition ciders and perry as well as juices, spirits and vinegars. 

The cidery has also unveiled a raft of new products including a new Apple Cider Brandy, branded glasses and its cider in cans and kegs. Its Lost Apple Cider is also now available on draught in local pubs.

Until the end of January, investors in Napton Cidery are being invited to buy shares from £1,000 upwards, with the aim of seeing a return within three to five years.

Napton’s latest expansion plans have also been bolstered by a £33k Covid Recovery grant as well as Alcohol Duty reforms as announced in the recent Budget. The Chancellor’s new measures around duty bands on draught and fruit ciders as well as one year’s temporary rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure properties, are expected to further save the business tens of thousands of pounds a year.

Jolyon said: The company is fortunate to be part-owned by an amazing group of shareholders who believe in our company values and our vision. As opposed to earlier in the year when we launched a round of funding to help us recover from the effects of the pandemic, this round is more to do with generating enough capital to continue the growth.

Over the next five to ten years wed like to increase our cider production tenfold, to manufacturing and selling one million litres nationally.